The Water Room: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.00
  • Save: $1.82 (12%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 8 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The Water Room (Bryant an... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: GREAT SHAPE! Softcover. No missing/torn pages, highlighting, or underlining in text. Some light wear. Fulfilled by Amazon! Free shipping on total Amazon fulfilled orders over $25! Free 2-Day shipping with Amazon Prime!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Water Room (Bryant and May, Bk 2) Paperback – September 30, 2008

62 customer reviews

See all 15 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.18
$5.36 $0.01
Audio, Cassette
"Please retry"
$45.00
Multimedia CD
"Please retry"

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
$13.18 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Water Room (Bryant and May, Bk 2) + Full Dark House: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery + Seventy-Seven Clocks: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery
Price for all three: $37.25

Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Traditional mystery buffs with a taste for the offbeat will relish British author Fowler's wonderful second contemporary whodunit featuring the Peculiar Crimes Unit and its elderly odd couple, Arthur Bryant and John May (after 2004's Full Dark House). A former colleague asks the eccentric Bryant, whose lack of polish coupled with a razor-sharp mind will remind many of Carter Dickson's Sir Henry Merrivale, to investigate his sister's death. Incredibly, the victim was found dead in her basement, apparently drowned, despite the absence of any moisture on her body or her surroundings. Bryant rapidly loops in his more down-to-earth partner, May, who has also been looking into a mystery with a personal connection—the unusual nocturnal ramblings of a disgraced academic who has begun probing London's underground rivers. More strange deaths follow before the unmasking of the surprising murderer. The author's black humor evokes Peter Lovesey's Peter Diamond series, and his successful revival of the impossible crime genre is reminiscent of John Sladek's superb Thackeray Phin novels, Invisible Green and Black Aura. Best known for his horror fiction (Rune, etc.), Fowler should win a whole new set of readers with these fair-play puzzlers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Britain's Fowler seems to be one of those multitalented types who can write anything and do it well. He has written edgy thrillers, wildly imaginative fantasies, and memorable short fiction; now, with the Bryant and May series (of which this is the second installment), he has come up with a clever twist on the traditional police procedural. Arthur Bryant and John May, "both far beyond the statutory retirement age," are members of London's Peculiar Crimes Unit; they've been partners for more than 50 years. You don't see many senior citizens in mystery fiction who aren't amateur sleuths, but these guys are pros, and they're about as far away from your typical kindly old meddler as you can imagine. This time they're trying to find out how an elderly woman managed to drown in her dry basement, and the plot itself proves perfectly satisfying. But the real thrill here is the delightful duo in the starring roles, two fresh and unusual characters who manage to breathe new life into an established genre in which it's getting harder and harder to find anything genuinely fresh. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553385550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553385557
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #455,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christopher Fowler was born in Greenwich, London. He is the multi award-winning author of thirty novels and twelve short story collections, and the author of the Bryant & May mystery novels. His first bestseller was 'Roofworld'. Subsequent novels include 'Spanky', 'Disturbia', 'Psychoville' and 'Calabash'. His books have been optioned by Guillermo Del Toro ('Spanky') and Jude Law ('Psychoville'). He spent many years working in film. His memoir of growing up without books, entitled 'Paperboy', was highly acclaimed, and was followed by a sequel in April 2013, 'Film Freak'. After this came his dark comedy-thriller 'Plastic' in July 2013.

He has written comedy and drama for BBC radio, including Radio One's first broadcast drama in 2005. He writes for the Financial Times and the Independent on Sunday, Black Static magazine and many others. His graphic novel for DC Comics was the critically acclaimed 'Menz Insana'. His short story 'The Master Builder' became a feature film entitled 'Through The Eyes Of A Killer', starring Tippi Hedren and Marg Helgenberger. In the past year he has been nominated for 8 national book awards. He is the winner of the Edge Hill prize 2008 for 'Old Devil Moon', and the Last Laugh prize 2009 for 'The Victoria Vanishes'.

He wrote the 'War Of The Worlds' videogame for Paramount with Sir Patrick Stewart. He is currently rehearsing his play 'Falling Stars' in preparation for a London debut.

Christopher has achieved several pathetic schoolboy fantasies, releasing a terrible Christmas pop single, becoming a male model, writing a stage show, posing as the villain in a Batman graphic novel, running a night club, appearing in the Pan Books of Horror, and standing in for James Bond.

His short stories have appeared in Best British Mysteries, The Time Out Book Of London Short Stories, Dark Terrors, London Noir, Inferno, Neon Lit, Cinema Macabre, the Mammoth Book of Horror and many others. After living in the USA and France he is now married and lives in King's Cross, London and Barcelona, Spain.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts VINE VOICE on September 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The first of this series, "Full Dark House," was very good and this was even better. My only two regrets are that (1) the characters are of an age where you wonder how long they can be around and (2) I wish there were more books already there for me to read. But I know the next book is due out soon, so I'll take heart. The relationship and dialogue between the two detectives is priceless, and there are great supporting characters. The writing is wonderful-it's funny, suspenseful and educational, and, as with fine wine, should be savored but thoroughly enjoyed. Very highly recommended.
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By tregatt on July 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The genius of this series, I believe, lies in the fact that the author has taken the traditional police procedural genre and completely turned it around on its head. To begin with we have the Peculiar Crimes Unit -- not your usual conventional police department dealing with robberies and murder but rather a unit that has been currently assigned to deal with the more troublesome, less cut and dried cases that seem to be heading no where, and that uses (on occasion) witches, psychics and academics to help solve crime. And then we have Bryant and May, who are also not the usual fare (the Brit detectives who simmer with intelligence, neuroses and sex appeal), but who happen to be 70-something police officers who should have been retired years ago, who are fully capable of doing their jobs and who relish doing them. In "The Water House" Bryant and May are back in full form as they enthusiastically delve back into the work, setting up their new offices (the previous one had been destroyed in a bomb explosion), and taking a stab at solving crimes that other police officers have either overlooked or else washed they hands off.

Kallie Owen is terribly afraid that her relationship with her longtime boyfriend, Paul, is on its last legs. Money is short and Paul (who is in the music business and who is facing redundancy) is expressing the need to travel and see the world (without Kallie at his side) before he grows too old. Desperate for advice and a friendly ear, Kallie goes to visit an old school friend, Heather Allen, who persuades her to buy a house on her street (Balaklava Street) that's just gone on the market. The old lady, Ruth Singh, who had lived in the almost decrepit house has suddenly died, and her brother wants to make a quick sale so that he can immigrate to Australia.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Melissa McCauley VINE VOICE on May 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you like an offbeat, thought-provoking story, I highly recommend this mystery by Christopher Fowler. Bryant and May, the odd-couple detectives of London's peculiar crimes unit are at it again. This time they must solve the mystery of the dry woman drowned in her basement. It leads them through lost rivers, Roman mythology, paganism, and, of course, the history of London and its class struggles.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on July 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Christopher Fowler's Bryant & May mystery series is only two volumes deep --- the second installment, THE WATER ROOM, being newly published --- yet already it is finding itself on the A-List of many readers, including this one.

There are a lot of adjectives one could apply to it: clever is one, charming is another, riveting a third. The premise of the series is that the London Police Department has a peculiar crimes unit, established during World War II, and at its helm are John May and Arthur Bryant, its two founding members, now well up in years. Bryant is the more eccentric of the two, and thus, may I say, a bit more interesting --- irascible, yearning for the past, and possessed with an indispensably brilliant fuzzy logic. May is more modern, willing to change with the times, and still able to think with his little head when the opportunity arises. The men are polar opposites --- hilariously so --- and thus work perfectly together.

The crimes they investigate sometimes do not appear to be crimes at all, at least not initially. Bryant, however, ferrets out a bizarre element or three, and, after you toss in a hoard of suspects, some quietly brutal circumstances, and Bryant's ongoing penchant for providing a fascinating running commentary for whatever portion of London the team happens to be in, one has a novel that is irresistible by any standard. Think Lord Peter Wimsey meets "The X-Files," or a more sedate version of "The Avengers" with Steed as an octogenarian, and you wouldn't be far off at all.

THE WATER ROOM is an innocuous title, considering what occurs herein. The Peculiar Crimes Unit is drawn into the investigation of the death of an elderly recluse.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By yankee2 on November 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's interesting to read a review of the 2nd book in the series, with respect to the first, and hear it described, essentially, as "every bit as good as the first, which was quite good." I have finally I believe read them all, in random order, ending with The Water Room, and I would report something very similar. I can't say much about the progression of Fowler's work, per se, but I can say that it is consistently excellent. Fowler certainly knows what he's doing. His writing is rich and well-balanced at every level, AND it is consistent from book to book, without ever being too predictable.

He HAS successfully mixed a light, humorous tone with the gravity of age, and of course the (peculiar) strangeness of his plots. Bryant is pretty decrepit, physically having some difficulty, and his mind is as disorderly as ever, sharp and even visionary though his memory has declined a bit. May is fairly strong, both physically and mentally, despite his years. Neither show any signs of quitting. Far from being alarmed that they might drop dead any moment, I delight that they are still so vital.

The old detectives are a novel twist, which gives this series a unique quality, which perhaps Baby Boomers can well appreciate. We will be entering those golden years soon, and we want to make the best of a bad situation, charge on to the best of our ability, and enjoy life fully. Bryant and May are perfect models for a Spirit of Winter, growing old gracefully.

I particularly liked Water Room in part because its plot depicts a dark and (again) decrepit London, with heavy winter rains, mud and mold above, dark secrets, and mysterious, dangerous tunnels beneath their feet. This novel involves the inhabitants of all the houses on the street, so the relationships can be quite tangled. As the story slowly reveals the truth, residence on this street begins to seem very hazardous, and even our protagonists lives are in danger.

I must say, one of my favorite reads!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Water Room (Bryant and May, Bk 2)
This item: The Water Room (Bryant and May, Bk 2)
Price: $13.18
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com